Bob Porter, Director of Housing and Planning introduced the item for discussion and said the following:
Members asked questions and made comments as follows:
Bob Porter gave further explanations as follows:
Councillor Austin proposed that Cabinet delayed taking the disposal decision for three months to enable discussions between the Director of Regeneration and potential buyers of the property at 18 Albert Street, Ramsgate.
Councillor Keen seconded the proposal.
Councillor Paul Moore proposed that the Panel takes no further action.
Councillor Tomlinson seconded the proposal.
When the two proposals were put to the vote Members agreed that no further action be taken by the Panel regarding this call-in. As a result the Cabinet decision became implementable from this point.
Cabinet considered disposal proposals for the council property at 18 Albert Street, which is a grade 2 listed building. It was previously occupied as a shared ownership property, with the council owning a share. The previous occupants, who owned the remaining share, were responsible, under the terms of the sharing arrangement for the maintenance of the building. The property was currently in very poor condition, as detailed in the Cabinet report, with high estimated costs of refurbishment.
The property was also poorly laid out, with accommodation over 3 floors, connected by a narrow and winding staircase. The kitchen and bathroom were extremely small and there was now outside amenity space. For these reasons it was not considered suitable for retention as part of the council’s rented housing stock. Members were reminded that there was a specific requirement on the council to ensure that any disposals of vacant dwellings are at a market value. It was therefore recommended that the council tested the market by disposing of the property at auction.
Councillor Austin spoke under council Procedure Rule 20.1.
Councillor Jill Bayford proposed, Councillor Pugh seconded and Cabinet agreed the following, that:
1. The Council owned property; 18 Albert Street is disposed of through auction;
2. The proceeds of sale are reinvested in the council’s HRA capital programme.